International OK Dinghy celebrates 60 unforgettable years!
The OK Dinghy Class celebrated in style at Burghfield Sailing Club on Saturday 19th August.
Past and present members gathered for a superb day and evening of celebration of this classic one design boat.
The plan was always an informal affair which it duly was. Originally planned to coincide with the Nationals, we kept the date and the Nationals moved owing to a late announcement that the south eastern air show was going ahead at Herne Bay the same weekend.
The day stayed dry, the sun came out, and the wind was more than forecast. The forecast was for 15 knots gusting 20! We experienced a steady 20 knots, with gusts almost touching 30! We ran two races for current and past members of the OK fleet with some forgetting to launch their boats in the brisk breeze. The race officer, true to form, set a course with the gybe mark right in front of the clubhouse, which gave all the spectators on the club balcony, something to cheer about as some went for a swim!
Tony Rich, sailing his new Idol Composites boat took line honours in the first race. Current World champion Nick Craig took to the water for the 2nd race in a borrowed boat. The wind had increased for this race, ensuring some screaming planes. Nick was leading, but Tony was hot on his heels, when an almighty cheer went up on the balcony as the current world champion capsized at the gybe mark!!! This allowed Tony through into the lead. Nick, however, was not swimming for long, hunting Tony down to take the win. Tony and Nick were both presented with special 60th anniversary trophies during the evening celebrations.
The evening celebrations kicked off with a champagne reception with canapes followed by a delicious hog roast, and some mouth-watering desserts, wine on the tables was soon consumed.
Guests were entertained with speeches by James Bridge-Butler, Jonty Sherwill, and Nick Craig, guest speaker for the evening, gave us all a very thought provoking and entertaining speech. All in the room enjoyed his speech immensely.
Thanks must go to our sponsors for the evening, Ovington Boats for donating a £500 voucher towards purchase of a brand new boat; Rain and Sun for donating a brand new boom up cover; Fernhurst books for donating three of Nick’s Helming to win books; Sandiline for donating a brand new pair of hikers, and to Mayday Chandlery at the club for donating a boat stand. These prizes were giving away on a ticket number draw resulting in some very happy people. The rest of us took refuge at the bar!
In true OK tradition, drinking went on to the very small hours, and the following morning some sore heads were to be found at breakfast.
It was a very memorable day in the history of OK sailing, and a big thanks to all involved, and I would just like to end giving the travel arrangements for person who travelled the furthest….
Alan boarded a plane in Glasgow on Saturday morning, flew to Southampton, hired a car, travelled up to Burghfield; after many glasses of wine he stayed in a local hotel for the night, then on Sunday drove to Southampton and flew back to Scotland.
Just proves that true legends belong to the OK Dinghy!